DP not allowed to work from home and workplace not covid safe

(21 Posts)
Bubbletrouble43 Tue 03-Nov-20 16:57:24

So, DP works as a marketer and ecommerce manager for a food related business. He could easily work effectively from home, as proved during the last lockdown. However his employer has decided he doesn't want to observe this lockdown, its all ridiculous etc and has refused his request to work from home for the next 4 weeks. Additionally, the workplace has no social distancing, mask wearing is openly mocked and very little cleaning goes on. DP says he is the only person at his workplace who seems concerned. What are his rights? Happy for this thread to be moved to coronavirus topic if deemed more appropriate.

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Bubbletrouble43 Tue 03-Nov-20 16:59:29

Oh additionally going to work means an approx 45 minute drive, if relevant.

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Smiths84 Tue 03-Nov-20 17:38:17

Have a look at the HSE website, if the workplace isn't covid secure, and they expect staff to work there, you can report them to the HSE who can come out and issue fines if found to not be complying. The guidance is clear though, work from home if you can, so for them to refuse it on the principle of not thinking covid is a big deal, they are wrong.

Bubbletrouble43 Tue 03-Nov-20 20:20:20

Thankyou for responding . He doesn't want to make himself unpopular and potentially lose his job as mine has gone fairly tits up so this is all very worrying. Feel like we are stuck in this rather worrying situation. Also wondering how many other employers are behaving this dickishly.

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Smiths84 Wed 04-Nov-20 07:31:01

Totally understand that. Not sure how you report it as have not done it myself but I'm sure it could be done where the HSE would visit and not disclose who reported it so his employer may not even need to know it was your DH. Worth at least enquiring.

Smiths84 Wed 04-Nov-20 07:32:53

I bet there will be a few companies out there acting this way and they will probably be sitting there hoping their employees won't say anything out of worry for their jobs but it's actually a more dangerous game for the company to play

BeakyWinder Wed 04-Nov-20 07:37:37

Covid secure is such a stupid phrase. If a workplace said they were cold secure or flu secure you would laugh. Aside from maybe high spec laboratories, or the moon, nowhere is covid secure!

ChloeDecker Wed 04-Nov-20 07:46:10

You’re describing every school in the country OP. Interesting responses...

canigooutyet Wed 04-Nov-20 07:51:12

When I whistle blowed I created a different email account and used a fake name to ensure I wouldn't be outed.

CodenameVillanelle Wed 04-Nov-20 07:53:15

He either reports them and hopes it doesn't come back on him or he takes his own precautions- own hand sanitiser, use every time he leaves his work station and returns, wear a mask, bring his own antibacterial spray etc

AlternativePerspective Wed 04-Nov-20 07:53:42

Report them to the HSE. Under a different email.

And just because there are similar situations elsewhere doesn’t mean this one isn’t of any concern. Two wrongs don’t make a right....

lovelemoncurd Wed 04-Nov-20 07:53:52

Yep DH has been working as an SEN teacher in a pupil referral unit right through since March. No masks and the kids try to lick his face routinely. I hope there are court cases to follow if he's alive long enough to see them!

Redlocks28 Wed 04-Nov-20 07:56:33

Covid secure is a ridiculous term!

If the government are saying that no masks, very little cleaning and no social distancing is fine in schools though, I expect they’ll say it’s fine everywhere else.

BeakyWinder Wed 04-Nov-20 08:28:27

An example of why covid secure is bollocks - my workplace installed thick perspex screens. We can't hear eachother properly through them so have to go round them into each others space to have a conversation. We would stay further apart without them but the guy who came to inspect and tick his covid secure checklist was happy so what do you do.

Bubbletrouble43 Wed 04-Nov-20 08:37:25

Yes, totally aware covid safe ( I never said secure) is probably unattainable however there are guidelines like mask wearing and social distancing that CAN be carried out to lessen risk but aren't. And fwiw I'm not afraid of catching a cold, but I am afraid of catching this. I do believe employers that can follow guidelines should do so, thanks for the helpful responses. He's decided to push to work from home with the sweetener that he would use his travel time to do extra ( unpaid) work, so they'll get an extra 90 mins a day out of him.

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ChloeDecker Wed 04-Nov-20 13:13:03


Report them to the HSE. Under a different email.

And just because there are similar situations elsewhere doesn’t mean this one isn’t of any concern. Two wrongs don’t make a right....

I completely agree but there are far too many posters on Mumsnet who tell teachers and school staff to just suck it up and get on with it and it’s interesting that the responses are different when it’s about other workplaces.

movingonup20 Wed 04-Nov-20 13:18:12

If an employer feels that business is more effective in the office, and also doesn't want a few office staff at home when the majority have to be onsite (often the case with manufacturing) they have to ensure desks are 2m apart etc. Only one of dp's staff asked to work from home, interestingly the one that is least productive and when working from home before wasn't effective, everyone else wants to be in work

dontdisturbmenow Wed 04-Nov-20 13:39:46

You need to be more specific when you say it is not Covid safe. Has nothing been done at all since he went back? Is he forced to sit next to somein less than 2m? You say those wearing masks are laughed at, by whom, colleagues or bosses? Have they said that staff doesn't need to wear a mask even in public areas? In terms of cleaning, has he asked for antibacterial products and he's been told they were not required?

The way you've written your post, it comes across that he was hoping he would be told he could work from home because it suits him and he is trying to find reasons to this mean.

Bubbletrouble43 Wed 04-Nov-20 13:49:04

To be specific, while he works at desk boss sits so close they are almost touching whilst talking to him for long periods. Staff members wander in and out of tiny office stopping to chat to boss, no masks. Canteen / lunch eating area tiny, staff sat eating in very close proximity. Has only witnessed cleaners on Fridays. Mentions of masks and precautions are laughed at and the general consensus is that it's all a bit daft and anyone who is taking precautions is a wet blanket. To add - it is a meat packaging plant so very cold refrigerated warehouse etc with cold office off it and delivery drivers from all over the UK popping in ( mask less) for a brew and a chat while they stop off.

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Bubbletrouble43 Wed 04-Nov-20 13:51:10

Trust me don'tdisturb, he'd rather go to work. We have a small house and loud 3yo twins 🤣, not sure where you got the idea he's making it up to suit him 🙄

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DahliaMacNamara Wed 04-Nov-20 22:05:41

Lots of occupations can't be done from home and are in Covid terms riskier than sitting in an office with other adults. That's a given. However the government's own regulations state that if you can work effectively from home, then you must do so. No exceptions for 'Covid safe' workplaces, and no provision for being a bit sceptical. There's no point in attempting a lockdown if the only difference is that we can't go to the pub or buy certain items from shops.

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